Flooding in Clark Hall relocates students and damages rooms

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Photo by Patrick Goodman

On Oct. 10, four rooms in Clark Hall were flooded due to a plumbing malfunction. Eight students were relocated to the freshmen halls where they would remain for at least the end of the week until repairs could be made. 

Betty Perretta, Director of Housing Operations in the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), said the issue began on the fourth floor before spreading to the rooms below. 

“The reason [the students] were [re]located was due to necessary plumbing repairs that would take days rather than hours to complete,” said Perretta in an email. “It was not safe nor practical to leave students in their rooms while repairs were ongoing and the water [was] turned off in their Clark Hall rooms.”

The University News reached out to affected students to comment via email, however, one declined and the others did not respond. 

Junior Biology major Nicholas Breese lives in Clark across one of the flooded rooms.

“There was some kind of pipe issue with all the pipes in the ‘35’ rooms, so 135, 125, etc. and that caused some major flooding,” wrote Breese in a text exchange. “I didn’t hear about it until I was walking back to my room, 136, directly across the hall from 135, and saw a pool of water.”

The flooding and cleaning process affected not only the tenants of the damaged rooms, but surrounding students in Clark. 

“[The water] was about the width of the hall, going maybe six feet around the door,” said Breese. “[There was a] bit of a puddle inside my room from under the door, so while I was studying that afternoon, I had to keep my door open as they were vacuuming the water up. Then, over the next few days, there were some fans set up outside my room. They were a little loud, so [I had] some problems sleeping. It also smelled worse than the guys’ hall usually does. The baseboards outside also had to get peeled up.” 

The students were expected to be able to return to their rooms, however, UD will not reimburse students for any damage done to personal items. 

According to the UD housing contract, “UD is not liable for the loss of, or damage to, personal property or for any other personal injury caused by acts of nature, fire, smoke, water, equipment malfunction, or caused by the negligent or criminal conduct or acts of any person occurring in UD facilities or grounds.” 

UD insurance only covers the university’s facilities and property, leaving the personal belongings of students at risk, according to the UD housing contract. Students are advised “to purchase personal property insurance to cover losses” while living on campus.

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